The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Members of the Port Arthur Firefighters Local No. 397 are grabbing a boot and hitting the streets to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
PAFD Capt. Perry Manuel, who’s also president of the local union, said the firefighters will be out collecting donations for the Fill-the-Boot Campaign for MDA beginning Friday, May 4, and continuing on the next two subsequent Fridays. They will be out from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from around 3 to 5 p.m. at the following locations: Ninth Avenue and FM 365, Woodworth and Gulfway Drive, Jefferson Drive and Gulfway Drive, FM 365 and West Port Arthur Road and Texas 87 in Sabine Pass at the four-way stop.
“The guys are real enthusiastic about the drive,” Manuel said. “Texas raises the most in the nation and we want to continue on that path.”
Last year the firefighters raised about $9,000 and this year they set a goal at $15,000.
Sophie Irby, fundraising coordinator for MDA, said she is appreciative of the firefighters for their continued support for MDA’s Fill-the-Boot Campaign.
“We couldn’t help out families without them,” Irby said.
The Fill-the-Boot tradition began in 1952, when a father in desperate need to help his child with muscular dystrophy went to International Association of Fire Fighters member George Graney’s fire engine company 1 in South Boston. IAFF local 718 immediately rounded up 20 firefighters and set in motion a door-to-door canister drive that raised $5,000, according to information from MDA. In 1953, Graney launched a citywide fundraising campaign with the help of Boston firefighters, made appeals across Massachusetts on behalf of children with muscular dystrophy. Firefighters have continued this long and proud tradition, pledging to provide health and hope for Jerry’s Kids.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince dropped the first donation into the boot at the fire station on Woodworth Boulevard. She read a proclamation declaring May 4, May 11 and May 18 as Port Arthur Firefighters Local No. 397 Fill-the-Boot days in the city of Port Arthur.